Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) on Thursday said efforts were underway to amicably resolve a row triggered after a church-backed outfit opposed the candidature of IUML's sitting MLA in Thiruvambady assembly segment.
Putting a gag on party workers from making any public statements on the issue, KPCC President V M Sudheeran said efforts were on to resolve the issue raised by Malayorama Vikasana Samithi, led by Thamarassery diocese, which had been in the forefront of the agitation against Gadgil committee report on Western Ghats.
The Thiruvambady seat was allotted to Indian Union Muslim League, the second largest partner in the ruling Congress-led UDF. There was no dispute over it, he pointed out.
"As some problems have cropped up, all efforts would be made to resolve them," he said in a statement here adding "till then it would be inappropriate to make public statements on the issue."
In an embarrassment to the UDF, the Samithi had threatened to field candidates in eight constituencies in the region if the UDF does not agree to its demand to change the sitting MLA V M Ummer as IUML candidate for the May 16 elections.
The samithi, which had accused Ummer of not taking initiative at the height of protests over the Western Ghats issue, also wanted the Congress to take over the seat from IUML and nominate a person acceptable to them.
Referring to the May 16 polls, Sudheeran said Congress leadership considers the election as crucial and hence the party would face it unitedly without any groupism.
Party leadership had given strict instructions in this regard and hoped all workers will abide by it.
It expected that there would not be any reaction from the Congress workers that would adversely affect the victory prospects, he said.
"Main agenda of the party is to win the election. No one should indulge in public debate over the candidature as the party would take serious note, if it was violated," Sudheeran added.
Describing Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam General Secretary Vellappally Natesan as 'messenger of Sangh parivar' in the state, Sudheeran said UDF cannot associate with anybody who has direct or indirect link with Natesan.
Congress leadership meeting would be held on March 15 and 16 to give final shape to the action programme of the party to face the polls, he said.